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Once an expert, always an expert?

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
Just logged in again and read the thread by Ryan "Calling all experts" and it would be interesting to poll the community on their opinions on the subject.

If a person at one time in their (skiing-)life has reached the highest proficiency and knowledge of the sport, but because of cicumstances,like injuries, old age, illness, etc. no longer can perform at the "expert" level he once mastered with ease and is now reduced to skiing greens and easy blues, though he has all the know-how to ski zipperline bumps, is he now agian a beginner or low intermediate or an expert skiing at intermediate levels, or what?

Is Terry Bradshaw still an expert football player or not? Is Muhamed Ali an expert boxer?

Your opinions of what and why would be educational to me.

post #2 of 65
To me an expert is someone who preformes to the best level of people in the same or higher catagories, be it age, ability etc.
post #3 of 65
Almost the identical issue arises in physics. If you look at the data, most people who have won the Nobel or other major prizes in physics received it for work they did when they were in their 20's or early 30's.

They get older, they get frustrated with their loss of ultra-fast analytical abilities, loss of wild flights of fancy that leads them to solutions, etc. etc.. Fortunately, they retain (and usually even get better at) their big picture abilities. They get really good at teaching, particularly, teaching younger physicsts how to reason.

Are they still experts? I don't know, but if one of them comes to give a seminar, I'll be there to listen.

I think that the original skiing question is somewhat loaded because just like in physics, there are really two types of experts: (A) Experts at performing the skill, and (B) Experts at understanding, analyzing and teaching the skills. There is no reason to believe that being an expert in one category makes you an expert in the other.

There - that should make all us "old farts" feel a bit better - grin.

post #4 of 65
IMHO, I think that once someone believes themselves to be an expert, they are no longer so. The word expert is so finite; it implies that there is nothing more to be learned.
I've been in my own industry since the days when Jane Fonda was hanging out with Hoh Chi Minh.

And every day I still learn something new.

So to clarify, and thus get back to your original question, an older skier who at one point of their life was a highly advanced skier, but now must ski easier runs,as developed expertise in how to adapt his skiing to his age and injuries.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lisamarie (edited July 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #5 of 65
In karate they don't "take back" your black belt as you regress. You are graded more on maturity and understanding than you are on your declining physical ability.

Most interesting is that the black belt slowly fades back to white with age as a reminder of natures reality.
post #6 of 65
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your opinions. I just wanted to know if expertese lays in the knowledge and understanding of a skill or in continuing ability in performing the skill.

Or both, Or what? Was Prof. Kruckenhauser who ran the sucessfull Austrian ski academy and developed the parallel shortswing (wedeln) and the counter rotating parallel turn which made optimum use of the equipment available then, an expert though he only could make stem christies himself?

Or is a difference in an expert in skiing and an expert skier?

Lisamarie, that isn't true. To me an expert is one who knows all or most that there is to know at this time. That is not saying that s/he cannot learn more as it is being developed and becomes available. Skiing is a constantly advancing skill, as are most other things in life.

post #7 of 65
There is a time when age, injury or fitness level will conspire against all experts in the realm of the physical application of skills. Though these skills diminish, the expert does not necessarly.
Jimmy Heuga has the jewelry to claim expertise still.
post #8 of 65
I can't agree with LM. An expert is someone who knows a LOT about a subject, but not all there is to know. Does ANYONE EVER know all there is to know about ANY subject? Of course not. But there are still subject matter experts. And experts can disagree (does an expert on Astronomy know EVERY star in the universe?)

I think that for skiing, an expert is determined by a person's knowledge, and at some point, by their ability. Because to be able to apply that knowledge successfully is something that an expert can do. But if they lose that ability due to a handicap, age, etc., it doesn't diminish their expert understanding. So they are still an expert.

On the other hand, I think that if someone is a great skier, but has no idea WHY they are good or HOW they actually ski, only that they CAN ski, then that does not make them an expert. Likewise, somone who knows all of the techincal mumbo-jumbo and acedemic side of skiing, but who can't (or never could) put two good turns together and apply their conceptual understanding, then they too should not be considered an expert.
post #9 of 65
Well, I've recently taken to calling myself an, "Ex-expert." But anyway, I started skiing in 1960 when I was 12, and I got pretty good at it after a few years, particularly when I skied 2 or 3 days every winter week for 4 years in a row when I was in college. (It's OK, it was in Middlebury, VT - we were supposed to be skiing a lot - even got Phys. Ed. credit for it!) Then, for a period of 7 years in the 80's, I didn't ski at all. When I got back on skis after that 7-year gap, I was pleased to find that it was like riding a bike: sure, my timing was rusty, but my body still instinctively 'knew' how to turn and edge and balance. I don't really have a point to make here, I just thought it was interesting.
post #10 of 65
"On the other hand, I think that if someone is a great skier, but has no idea WHY they are good or HOW they actually ski, only that they CAN ski, then that does not make them an expert. "

That ^
Is a bunch of bull.
post #11 of 65
JohnH, I have to agree with cold water on that one.
post #12 of 65
roto and coldwater,
Maybe not a subject expert but an expert skier?
So the person skiing extremely well but does not understand why, is an "expert skier" but not an "expert on the subject of skiing".
Is that being picky enough?
post #13 of 65
Roto and Cold H2O,

A plumber who makes a pretty solder joint, but doesn't know the building codes is NOT an expert. You may be able to speak perfectly fluent French, but if you can't write it or know French grammer and rules, then you are not an expert of the French language, Oui?
post #14 of 65
I like the distinction that Dcahn makes. Expert skier and expert on the subject of skiing do not mean one and the same thing.

If expert always or necessarily implies that one has to have a certain level of knowledge, then it leaves out too many most of us would consider expert. But I think that there are a number of people or animals that can be properly called an expert without requisite knowledge. For example, I think that a badger is an expert digger, but it doesn't "know" anything about digging in the sense that we use knowledge on this board. A bird is an expert flier, but I wouldn't want to take a flying lesson from one.

The reasoning works in both directions. JohnH, for example, seems to be an expert on the subject of skiing and is also an expert skier. If something were to happen to JohnH, god forbid, so that he couldn't physically ski again, he wouldn't lose his expertise on the subject of skiing.

Rob <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by rob (edited July 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #15 of 65
Oh ignore me! I have no idea what I'm talking about!

Seriously, you guys are right and I'm wrong. Over the summser, when I attend one conference after the next, the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Especially when I hear "experts" contradict what they said the year before.
Just feeling a bit overwhelmed.

BTW, Reston is next week. John H. , lunch on Thursday/ Lisamarie@epicski.com

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #16 of 65
How about all those PSIA Level 3's that got certified back in the day, and really let their skiing slide. Are they really still full cert? Can they teach all levels, including real steeps, serious bumps, and park? Opinions?
post #17 of 65
A woman once won a free lesson with Jean Claude Killy, when he was the best. It turned out to be the worst lesson she ever had since his 'expertise' lay in the doing rather than the explaining of the sport. Is an Olympic Gold medalist not an expert in the sport in which they medal?

When asked how to succeed in competition, Mr. Killy said you can't be in love and win. He credits his loneliness as a youngster to giving him the drive and time to succeed, not technical knowledge.
Many racers and definite expert skiers do not 'know' what they are doing, they just do it.

Expert skiers, whether they have technical knowledge or not, acquire much instinctive knowledge related to terrain, tactics, kinesthetics, proprioception and the list goes on. They merely use it to make decisions rather than communicate.
JohnH, you are probably a better teacher, and could possibly possess more "knowledge" than Herman Maier, If this were the case would you be more expert than he? <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited July 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #18 of 65
This is all so relative.

Three years ago I was an egg-spurt in the eyes of my seven year old. I'm sure his opinion will be changing as time goes by.

In the eyes of that class of first timers I qualify as an expert. In the eyes of our director, I am just another hacker.

Ask me about doing a misty and you will get one answer...... "I'm clueless"!

Next time you are on the chair with a "hot ticket" on a pair of 1080's..... ask him about turning early for gates..... he will look at you as if you were Moon Unit 3.

It's a big world out there and ..... If you meet the Buddah on the road..... Slay him!
post #19 of 65
Do you read lone wolf?
post #20 of 65
Hey Roto - FYI Herman Maier was a ski instructor in Austria for years, so he is probably a fairly competent inst. ALso AJ Kitt took his PSIA level 3 without taking his 1 or 2, and scored extremely high, especially on his teaching. OK, so US levl 3 is pretyy easy, but, these guys know thier stuff.
post #21 of 65
Spinheli, Did you read A.J.s story about the process of preparing for that test? How he realized he'd been racing (on the WC) without really being aware of what he was doing?

I certainly do not put all racers into a boat of having no knowledge. There is a contingent out there who do not have a highly developed cognitive connection to technical knowledge/awareness. This does not make them less expert at the sport of skiing..more specialized, maybe.
post #22 of 65
AJ, writes, quite eloquently about "how much more he knows about skiing" from the cert. process in the TPS. Debbie Armstrong, (who started Lev I) ditto! In talking with her preparing for III (she is now RM trainer accred.), she shared similar views about hot racers becoming coaches. Why are you doing this drill with the kids? What skill are you focusing on? "I dunno, my coach made me do it!"
What we can do, or how we perform intuitively makes us good students, genetically predisposed athletes or blessed. How we understand ourselves and others in the skiing enviorment sufficient to change or even excel makes us experts.
post #23 of 65
I like Potatoes!!!! MMMMMMM. Love em!!!
post #24 of 65
I once took a Level 3 class at Stowe. It was a huge group, so they had to do a split. There was an 18 year old piece of eye candy who was showing off his skiing style.
Then there was Gherhardt {sp?}! Must be in his early 60s, German or Austrian. He was telling us stories while the young 'un was showing off.

When it came time for the "ski off", the kid was taking the more advanced skiers, which I was at that point.

Confession time. Please don't lose respect for me.

I wanted the expert.

So I messed up a turn on purpose to get into Gherhardt's group.

It was a good decision.

Ott: you will always be our expert!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lisamarie (edited July 23, 2001).]</FONT>
post #25 of 65

As usual I am clueless.... about lone wolf.

Sounds like it may be good (I'm considering the source)..... what's/who's it about?
post #26 of 65
your comment about Buddah..

I know it's a common line but it also came up in a Japanese graphic novel that was brought to the US by First Comics. They never finished the run and now Dark Horse finally picked up the series and is planning to complete it. It's called "Lone Wolf and Cub" and is story about a Samarai (with a son) turned ronin/assasin on a one man crusade to take down one specific corrupt clan. Black and white art (very good and very graphic) good story.
post #27 of 65

Wrong about Harb.

You're an expert in the cult when you've perfected the movements - not until then.
post #28 of 65
An expert? Gotta be all mountain.

Flows down through the bumps.
Skis powder fast.
Glides through glades.
Stays in the fall line on steeps.
Lays down rails.
No problems in crud.
Can ski the half-pipe.
post #29 of 65
Old ski experts never die: They just loose their edge!

Good night everybody!
post #30 of 65
SCSA...about experts..."it takes one to know one", guess you can't be part of "our gang" NANANANANAAAAA!
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